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Mental Health and Child Custody for Your Raleigh Divorce


Mental health is a significant issue to face in child custody. Not only the opposing party’s mental health, but your mental health as well.

It is important when you speak with your attorney about mental health issues that you are open and honest. Not only do we need specifics about the opposing party’s mental health, but yours as well. In almost every case when you seek to examine your ex-spouse’s mental health under a microscope, they will seek to do that same to you. It is important to have an open dialogue on this subject with your attorney.

Things You Should Disclose to Your Raleigh Divorce Lawyer

When you start your relationship with your Raleigh divorce lawyer, you need to disclose important information that could be detrimental to your case. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to better craft a case that can have a positive result if you are open an honest during your consultations.

You should tell your attorney:

1. If any mental health diagnoses have been made for the past 5 years?
2. If you are currently taking or have been prescribed medicine for a mental health illness?
3. If you are currently seeing a therapist or other mental health professional or have seen such a professional in the past five years?
4. If you are compliant with any doctor’s orders regarding taking medication or follow up treatment?
5. If there is anything else your ex-spouse may use to disparage you in a custody case regarding mental health or any other issues that you have concerns about?

Seeking Treatment is Essential for Your Child Custody Case

Keep in mind, just because you may have a mental health diagnosis does not mean you are not a good parent. What causes concern is when a mental health diagnosis is untreated, or the individual is not compliant with their doctor’s recommendation, such as not taking their medicine as prescribed. Provide your attorney with as much detail as possible regarding your own issues so that they can properly defend against any unfounded accusations that may occur in the future.

Don't Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help

We often hear clients express concerns about seeing a therapist during a pending child custody case; specifically, that it may cast them in a negative light for the judge. Opinions may vary, but taking care of your mental health is always a sign of good judgment. Being proactive about getting help and following through with any recommendations that may be made for future treatment, shows the judge that you are handling serious issues in an appropriate manner for the best interest of your children.

Failing to Seek Mental Health Therapy Can Be Worse for Your Case

It is so much worse, in our opinion, to not seek the help you need. All the bad behavior that is not controlled just builds the case against you when you do not get the help you need.

For example, angry texts you send to your ex-spouse out of frustration, losing your patience with your ex-spouse in front of the children or unpleasant phone calls where you had a few regretful choice words for your ex-spouse that were recorded could be used as evidence against you.

During any custody hearing, we would much rather discuss how our client is seeing a therapist to work on co-parenting communication, and other skills to better co-parent the children versus letting the uncontrolled symptoms build evidence that will be hard to recover from in the case. At that point, you will cast yourself in a negative light, and unfortunately the attorney cannot rehabilitate actions such as those.

Contact a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer for Support with Your Child Support Case

If you would like schedule a consultation to discuss any concerns you have on this subject, we would be happy to schedule the same. You can call our office at (919) 301-8843 and a staff member will be happy to assist you.

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